In a three-way race for attorney general, veteran politician Terry Goddard is squaring off against Andrew Thomas and Ed Kahn in the general election.
Terry Goddard, Democrat
Goddard, a Democrat who served as mayor of Phoenix for seven years in the 1980s, is a native Arizonan whose career has combined a commitment to the law with a passion for building successful communities.
A graduate of Harvard College and ASU College of Law, Goddard's tenure as mayor was marked by significant strides in increasing resident participation, fighting back against crime, improving transportation, revitalizing downtown, providing for quality growth, and setting up nationally recognized programs in arts, culture and historic preservation.
Goddard began working at the Arizona Attorney General's Office in the criminal and anti-trust divisions while still a law student. After admission to the Arizona Bar in 1976, he became an assistant attorney general. As a criminal prosecutor in the special prosecutions section, he was part of the team that convicted the principal officers of Lincoln Thrift.
After his terms as mayor, Goddard worked at the international firm of Bryan Cave. For the past six years, he served as state director of the Arizona office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development working to promote affordable housing and curb housing discrimination.
Goddard believes a fundamental obligation of the attorney general is to fight for all people of Arizona regardless of their socioeconomic position or the political clout of the opposition.
"Attorneys general from both political parties have been willing to take on entire industries or powerful corporations when the situation warranted," Goddard said. "As attorney general, I will be the 'people's lawyer', someone who stands up for all Arizona citizens, especially those who would not otherwise have access to legal redress. The A.G. provides the first line of defense for Arizona families and communities, especially for our children and seniors, against predators, whether they are drug dealers, environmental polluters or corporate manipulators defrauding depositors," Goddard said.
Andrew Thomas, Republican
The Republican candidate for attorney general, Andrew Peyton Thomas, is an attorney who served as legal assistant for the Boston NAACP and as an assistant attorney general in Arizona, where he conducted criminal and civil prosecutions. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri and Harvard Law School. His supervisor at the time, a former chief counsel of the criminal division, described Thomas's service at the Attorney General's Office as "superb" and "nothing short of spectacular."
While at the Attorney General's Office, Thomas worked as the general counsel for a state agency (the Department of Agriculture) and provided legal advice on a wide range of issues affecting rural Arizona and the department.
Thomas spearheaded the first successful civil prosecution under the Native Plant Act (a resort in the Phoenix area had destroyed numerous cacti and native flora installing a pipeline).He obtained the largest fine in state history for a violation of Arizona's pesticide laws after a ground-rig doused five migrant farm workers with pesticide, requiring hospitalization.
As Attorney General, Thomas says he will work to put child molesters in prison; create a modern, family-friendly office; and make government accountable to the people."
"The current attorney general has refused to defend in court public votes and laws she does not like," Thomas said. "Activist judges also have struck down public votes, thereby handing state lawmakers an unlawful pay raise and stretching out the already-lengthy appeals times for death-row inmates."
Thomas says he proposes a constitutional amendment that will require the attorney general to zealously defend in court all public votes and duly enacted laws, even if the attorney general disagrees with them. The amendment also would require that any court decision that overturns a public vote be put on the ballot at the next state election for approval by the voters.
Ed Kahn, Libertarian
The Libertarian candidate for attorney general is Ed Kahn, an attorney and former candidate for mayor of Tucson.
Kahn, who has journalism and law degrees from Fordham College, believes that "government like fire is a dangerous servant and must be watched constantly so it does not get out of control."
If elected the first Libertarian attorney general, Kahn promises to "watch Arizona government like a hawk.
"I will appoint an inspector general to help me in my sworn duty to support Arizona's constitution and laws and represent state agencies, and, even more importantly, protect ... the citizens of Arizona from government abuse and neglect," he said.
Kahn also has a plan for weeding out incompetent personnel in the attorney general's office through merit pay.
"The top 10 percent each year will get a 10 percent pay raise, and the bottom 10 percent will get a 10 percent cut," he said. "Thus, no increase in budget and a natural process of rewarding the most productive workers and weeding out the bureaucratic slackers."
Before moving to Arizona in 1966, Kahn worked in New York state doing publicity for such diverse items as New York state wines, bowling alleys and bathtubs. He also worked as assistant editor for the American Gas Association Journal.
Kahn moved to Window Rock to begin his law career as an attorney for the Navajo tribe. In 1969, Kahn moved to Tucson, and since then he has been practicing law specializing in insurance subrogation, civil trials and constitutional law.
Kahn says his lifelong interest in the constitution led him to organize the Arizona Constitutional Rights Union as a moderate alternative to the left-wing extremist American Civil Liberties Union.